Today, let’s talk about courtship and dating, just because I’ve been dwelling on it a lot and I simply want to let out and systematise my thoughts so I can understand myself better.
First off, I know some girls think that us girls shouldn’t have to feel like we need a man because it unveils a sense of dependency. While I completely support the concept of independence, I do believe that being in a relationship/ marriage doesn’t make a woman any less independent. We can still be independent and be married. It really isn’t mutually exclusive. Plus, it is, after all, an innate human nature to crave love!!! We do. And since I am human, I sometimes (kind of) (want) (a guy) (to share my joys and sorrow with) (I felt shy admitting that adskhkscksnjks). All my life I’ve always known I want to get married because it is the right way of pursuing a relationship. However, I am single and have always been – though not at all concerned, at the moment – because of several reasons.
Firstly, I am extreeeeemely shy when it comes to the opposite gender (yes, only gender). My conversations with males comes in 2 forms: 1) only when necessary (i.e. school) and 2) not face to face. Even when my conversations with males are necessary, I cannot, for the life of me, talk to them comfortably face to face. It might sound strange because I have talked to guys online before (never initiated by me) (gravely regret for some), but believe me, I rarely enjoy them because I get tremendously awkward.
Secondly, I am not fond of the idea of interest on the basis of looks. I used to be very flattered when guys show interest in me, but I got tired of it because their interest is based only – or at least almost entirely – on my exterior. I can be quite critical, but logically, it is impossible to remain flattered when you know a guy is interested in you without knowing who you are. It’s essentially an interest without depth and I can’t really bask in the grounds of such an affinity.
Thirdly, I am not a talker. I don’t even talk to my best friends daily. Having to reply constantly is very tiring and just not my thing. Don’t quote me on this but based on my experience, when it comes to conversations with guys, they almost always want to talk all day. When you start out talking aaaaalll day – introducing each other; talking about interests; blabla – you eventually have less things to talk about because the initial introduction phase is done with (the introduction phase is okay if what we talk about is interesting). But when you don’t have anything to talk about, small talk often becomes the way to go to keep the conversation going (i.e. ‘what did you eat?’, ‘what are you doing?’ but in Malay most of the time so ‘dah makan?’, ‘makan ape?’, ‘buat ape tu?’ (cringe)) which is not interesting at all. When conversations become uninteresting, you kind of just wish you never replied the person in the first place because you know once it dies down, you will suddenly stop talking for good. It definitely also has to do with how well you relate to the person. I haven’t been lucky in the area so far – not that I’m complaining. And because I am often uninterested in the person and shy, I rarely do the asking, which makes it hard to keep a conversation going.
Fourth, I can never bring myself to be chummy with males who are not my mahram. I might be wrong, but I am pretty sure that in a relationship or whatever that comes before, most (?) people would expect the other to be affectionate/ caring. It make sense, but I cannot ever do that. A part of me thinks it’s disconcerting because the guy is not my mahram and it just does not seem right to me. I want to try my best to get to know someone the Islamic way. I believe there is a misconception that Islamic courtship doesn’t allow us to thoroughly learn about our potential partner. It is possible through group meetings but I don’t think we should worry so much because as long as we are doing it right while constantly praying for guidance, we can leave it to Allah to choose the right partner for us.
Fifth, I wasn’t ready. I felt that at 17/18/19, I was still too young to be involved in any form of relationship/dating because the earliest earliest age I would marry is 20. I didn’t think I would have the patience and confidence to sustain a ‘relationship’ (as we call it) for 2/3 years or more because in that time frame, a lot of things can happen. I also do not wish to delay marriage if I find myself compatible with a person. And so I stopped talking to guys/ lost interest in talking to guys because I felt that it would be a waste of time since I did not want to commit to it. My ultimate objective when getting to know someone would be to eventually marry. I don’t want to date or ‘kenal-kenal’ just for the sake of it. I’ve had some adults tell me that “there is nothing to lose”, “you never know when the right guy will come along, so just talk”, but you see, after factoring in all the reasons above, I often end up avoiding the situation altogether. People might say I think too much but I see great importance in marriage as an end goal and I will gladly stick by my principles.
Lastly, marriage shouldn’t be taken lightly. Marriage is a tremendous responsibility. It’s not simply about love and because of that, it requires careful consideration.